Financial Aid Basic Steps
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Financial Aid Basic Steps

Financial Aid Basic Steps and Step One – Get a PIN

Visit the Department of Education PIN Registration Website for your PIN at this link:

https://fsaid.ed.gov

Step Two – Complete your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)

Fill out an application for Federal Aid by visiting the FAFSA Website at this link:

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

When you are on the FAFSA Website, you will be asked to enter a school code and the Blake Austin College School Code is:  040033

Step Three – Student Loans

There are different types of loans to help you through college for guidance you can refer to the official government website to review the various types of loans by clicking on this link: https://studentloans.gov

Types of Loans

  1. Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized & Unsubsidized)
  2. Federal Parent Plus Loan
  3. Alternative and Private Loans
  4. Blake Austin College in-house loans

Step Four – Loan Entrance Counseling & Promissory Note

Before any loan funds can be disbursed you must complete Loan Entrance Counseling, click the link below, sign in using your pin and complete the online entrance counseling.

https://studentloans.gov

You will be asked to sign Master Promissory Note for more information click this link:

https://studentloans.gov

Step Five – Other Financial Resources

  1. Blake Austin Scholarship
  2. Recommended Scholarship Search Engines
  3. Veteran’s Benefits (MyCAA & VA benefits)

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  What is FAFSA?  How do I do it?  How much will I get?  Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will give the Financial Aid Office the ability to determine the amount student will be eligible for with the Federal Government programs – Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans (Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans), and PLUS loans (if applicable).  For more information click on this link: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ .

2.  I have heard that I may be able to get free money for college through Grants.  Is this true?  It depends on your qualifications and eligibility will be determined through FAFSA.  One of Blake Austin College Financial Aid Representatives will notify you if you are qualified.

3.  If I qualify for a Grant what kind are there?  There are two types of grants, a Federal Pell grant which does not have to be paid back.   The other type of grant is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).  This is a supplemental limited grant that is need based and does not have to be paid back.  The amount a Blake Austin College student will be eligible for will be based on financial need, cost of attendance, status as a full-time student, & length of program.

4.  What is a Federal Direct Loan?  A Federal Direct Loan is money your borrow from the government that must be repaid. These loans can help build credit for students.

5.  What is the difference between a Subsidized and an Unsubsidized loan?   With a Subsidized Loan, the Federal Government pays interest while student attends school and during the first six months after graduation, as well as during periods of deferment. Your first payment will becomes due 6 months after graduation.  With an Unsubsidized Loan, you are responsible for interest that accrues on the unsubsidized loan while you are in school and during 6-month grace period. Your first payment is due 6 months after you graduate unless you choose to pay the interest on this loan while you are in school.

6.  How much will my monthly loan payments be?  This depends on the type of loan and the amount you have borrowed.  Please contact the Blake Austin College Financial Aid Department.

7.  What is the interest rate?  Interest rates vary depending on the type of loan.  See a Finanical Aid Representative for more details.

8.  What are the benefits of Federal Programs?  There are a variety of repayment plans available when utilizing Federal loan programs.  The available repayment plans can be viewed at: https://studentloans.gov.

9.  What is a Federal Parent PLUS loan? PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) loans are federal loans that graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate dependent students can use to help pay for college. PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.  Payments are due immediately after you’ve received the last disbursement of the loan for that school year; however deferment options are also available on the loan.  For more information on the PLUS Loan Program visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/plus.

10.  Can I get a school loan through an alternate source or a private lender? Many lenders offer private loans to students; however such loans are not subject to federal student loan rules. The terms of repayment, interest rates will vary by loan. Lenders perform a credit check and determine a loan applicant’s creditworthiness before approving these loans. A loan applicant may also be required to provide a creditworthy co-signer before a loan will be approved.  There are many financial and private institutions that specialize in education loans to students.  A Blake Austin College Financial Aid Representative will be able to help determine the best option for you.

11.  Does Blake Austin College have payment plans available? Depending on the student’s needs, there may be an option for an in-house loan to help cover tuition.  In-house loans from Blake Austin College are applicable to all programs, have low rates and flexible payment options.  Download the application by clicking here BAC Student Loan Application, then contact a Blake Austin College Financial Aid Representative to see if you qualify and to discuss terms.

12.  Does Blake Austin College Offer Scholarship Opportunities? Blake Austin College offers scholarships up to $1,000 for many of its programs, during certain periods throughout the year.  Please visit our Scholarship Page to see if there is one available for your program of choice.  Additionally, we offer Scholarships for Native Americans through the Solano County office of the California Tribal TANF Partners.  Your TANF counselor will be able to provide you with an application.

13.  Where else can I find available Scholarships? There are many places where you can find scholarship opportunities.  Start by looking in your own community! Organizations such as Soroptomist International offers scholarship opportunities on both a local and national level.  Start by visiting a reference librarian at your public library, your guidance counselor at your local school.  Visit www.soroptomist.org/awards/apply.html for more information on Soroptomist International and their scholarship opportunities.  Search engines on the web that may be able to help you find scholarships are www.fastweb.com, www.scholarships.com, www.collegeboard.net and www.collegeanswer.com.

14.  How do I avoid a Scholarship or a Financial Aid “scam”?   Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous companies that “prey” on students and their needs for loans or scholarships.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions students and their parents to look and listen for these tell-tale lines:

  • The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
  • “You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
  • “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
  • “We’ll do all the work. You just pay a processing fee.”
  • “The scholarship will cost some money.”
  • “You’ve been selected” by a “national foundation” to receive a scholarship – or “You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.
  • Be advised that the application to apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) is free.  There are places that will charge you to help fill out the FAFSA.  If you would like help filling out the FAFSA, contact  one of BAC’s  financial aid representatives for assistance

For more information visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0082-scholarship-and-financial-aid-scams or http://studentaid.ed.gov/resources.

15.  What types of Scholarships are available? There are three main sources of scholarships which include federal, state, and private and all have different criteria

  • Federal – federally funded programs for various types of students. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education
  • State – administered on a state-by-state basis.
  • Private – professional organizations, private colleges, business and industry sources, and private charitable organizations.

Be creative and look for Scholarship options right here at home!  You may also be able to find scholarships with your bank, your parent’s company, a local company or organization or a non-profit organization.

16.  I want to write a professional inquiry letter what do I say?  Click here for a Sample Scholarship Inquiry Letter  provided for guidance from the California Sate Aid Commission (CSAC).

17.  I am a veteran, do you have VA Approval and if so, what are my benefits?  Yes!  We are a VA approved college.  Applications for VA benefits for yourself, your spouse or a dependent are available through the Veterans Administration (VA). Approval will be conducted by the Veterans Administration. To find out which documents Financial Aid will need, including but not limited to a Certificate of Eligibility and Unofficial Transcripts, contact a Blake Austin College Financial Aid Advisor.  For more information and to register, visit the Department of Defense website My Career Advancement Account (myCAA).

18.  Will my employer pay for my education? Inquire with your current employer.  Your supervisor or your Human Resources Department will be available to guide you. Some employers offer assistance with your education, especially if the skills you acquire in school are relevant to the company’s specific business objective.

19.  There are so many options, is there an official websites that I can get information from? Blake Austin College does not refer students to any private websites for information.  The following official government sites will be guide you with correct and concise information: